Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standard Body of India. BIS is responsible for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
BIS through its core activities of standardization and conformity assessment, has been benefiting the national economy by providing safe, reliable and quality goods; minimizing health hazards to consumers; protecting the environment, promoting exports and imports substitute; controlling over proliferation of varieties etc. The standards and certification scheme of BIS apart from benefitting the consumers and industry also support various public policies especially in areas of product safety, consumer protection, food safety, environment protection, building and construction, etc.
In recent years, BIS has worked towards specifically addressing various national priorities and other government initiatives like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India, Make in India and ease of doing business through its activities of standardization and certification. In standards development, BIS continues to address issues of technology changes and advancements, climate change, environment and energy conservation, conditions of health and safety and facilitation of trade. In the area of conformity assessment BIS is working towards making the processes simpler and faster.
The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, has been implemented since 12 October 2017. The highlights of the new BIS Act are:
- Positions BIS as the National Standards Body.
- Allows multiple conformity assessment schemes in line with global practices.
- Enables the Government to authorize any agency apart from BIS to certify and enforce conformity to a standard.
- Enables the Government to include products under mandatory certification on grounds of health, safety, environment, national security and prevention of deceptive practices.
- Enables the Government to bring Hallmarking of precious metal articles under mandatory certification.
- Provides consumer protection measures like recall of non-conforming standard marked products, compensation to the consumer and more stringent penal provisions.
OBJECTIVES OF BIS
- Harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods
- To provide thrust to standardization and quality control for growth and development of industry on one hand and to meet the needs of consumers on the other.
ORGANIZATIONAL NET WORK
BIS has its Headquarters at New Delhi. It has 5 Regional Offices (ROs) located at Kolkata (Eastern), Chennai (Southern), Mumbai (Western), Chandigarh (Northern) and Delhi (Central). Under the Regional Offices are the Branch Offices (BOs). There are 33 BOs located at 28 different locations namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Delhi, Durgapur, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Parwanoo, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot and Vishakhapatnam. The BOs serve as an effective link between State Governments, industries, technical institutions, consumer organizations, etc., of the region.
The activities of BIS can be broadly grouped under the following heads:
- Standards formulation
- International activities
- Product Certification
- Laboratory services
- Training services - National Institute of Training for Standardisation
- Consumer Affairs and Publicity
BIS formulates Indian Standards in line with the national priorities for various sectors that have been grouped under 14 Departments like Chemicals, Food and Agriculture, Civil, Electro-technical, Electronics & Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Management & Systems, Metallurgical Engineering, Petroleum Coal & Related Products, Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning, Textile, Transport Engineering, Production & General Engineering and Water Resources. Corresponding to these Departments fourteen Division Councils exist. Each Division Council has a number of Sectional committees working under it. The standards cover important segments of economy and help the industry in upgrading the quality of their goods and services.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)- ISO is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. BIS is a founder member of ISO and is actively involved in development of International Standards by acting as Participating (P) member or Observer (O) member on various Technical Committees, Sub-Committees, Working Groups, etc.
International Electro-technical Commission (IEC)- IEC was founded in 1906 and is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. India is represented in IEC through BIS.
Regional and Bilateral Cooperation- BIS is actively involved in the Regional and Bi-lateral Co-operation Programmes pertaining to standardization, testing, certification, training etc. So far, BIS has signed several MoUs with national standards bodies of various countries. BIS also plays an active role in formulation and implementation of regional standards and on conformity assessment scheme for the SAARC countries under the South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO).
World Trade Organisation – Technical Barriers to Trade (WTO-TBT) Matters - BIS is the National Enquiry Point for WTO -TBT.
BIS operates a Product Certification scheme for ensuring compliance to Indian Standards. Presence of BIS standard mark (popularly known as ISI mark) on a product indicates conformity to the relevant Indian Standard. Before granting licence to any manufacturer, BIS ascertains the availability of required infrastructure and capability of the manufacturer to produce and test the product conforming to the relevant Indian Standard on a continuous basis.
The BIS certification scheme is voluntary in nature. However for a number of products, compliance to Indian Standards made mandatory by the Central Government under various statutes in public interest.
Foreign Manufactures Certification Scheme (FMCS)
BIS has been operating a separate scheme for foreign manufacturers in order to certify goods manufactured outside India. Under this scheme, foreign manufacturers can seek certification from BIS for marking their product(s) with BIS Standard Mark after ensuring conformity of the products to relevant Indian Standard(s).
Registration Scheme for Self Declaration of conformity
Registration Scheme operated by BIS is a simplified process of conformity assessment. In this this scheme a manufacturer himself makes a declaration that his product conforms to the Indian Standard.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has notified "Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012" on 3 Oct 2012 mandating Compulsory Registration from BIS for Electronics and Information Technology (IT) products. BIS had also notified a separate ‘Standard Mark’ for the Registration Scheme.
Hallmarking of Jewellery
Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery was started by BIS in April 2000 to provide third party assurance to consumers on the purity of gold jewellery or its fineness. The scheme for Hallmarking of Silver Jewellery / artefacts was launched in October 2005. Under the hallmarking scheme, the jewellers are granted certificate of registration to sell hallmarked jewellery and Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) centres are recognized to assay the purity of the jewellery submitted by the registered jeweller along with declaration of purity and apply hallmark on such jewellery which is found conforming to relevant Indian Standard including declared fineness.
To cater to the needs of testing for certification activity, BIS has established eight laboratories in the country namely Central Laboratory (CL), Sahibabad; Western Regional Office Laboratory (WROL), Mumbai; Northern Regional Office Laboratory (NROL), Mohali; Eastern Regional Office Laboratory (EROL), Kolkata; Southern Regional Office Laboratory (SROL), Chennai; Bangalore Branch Office Laboratory (BNBOL), Bangalore; Patna Branch Office Laboratory (PBOL), Patna; Guwahati Branch Office Laboratory (GBOL), Guwahati. In addition, BIS has also recognized NABL accredited laboratories and government laboratories to discharge the work related to testing of products for conformity assessment. In addition, BIS also has a Gold Referral Assaying Laboratory at Chennai for testing of samples.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TRAINING FOR STANDARDIZATION (NITS)
BIS imparts training through NITS to the technical and management personnel from industry, consumer organizations, public sector undertakings, govt. bodies and developing countries. The institute also conducs International Training Programmes (ITP) for developing countries under different cooperation schemes of Government of India
CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND PUBLICITY
BIS endeavours to create awareness and promote quality amongst all its consumers through various awareness programmes:
- Consumer Awareness Programmes: For promoting the concept of standardization, certification and quality consciousness among consumers, awareness programmes are organized on a regular basis through various Regional offices and Branch offices of BIS, sometimes in association with Consumer Organizations.
- Industry Awareness Programmes: To propagate the concept of standardization, product certification, management systems certification and other BIS activities amongst Industries, Industry Awareness Programmes are conducted by BIS.
- Educational Utilization of Standards Programmes: BIS organizes Educational Utilization of Standards Programmes (EUS) for students and faculties of schools, colleges etc., to inculcate the young minds with the concepts and benefits of standardization.
- World Standards Day: BIS celebrates the World Standards Day on 14th Oct to pay tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide, which develop voluntary technical agreements that are published as International or National Standards.
- Public Grievances: Consumer complaints relating to BIS certified products are reviewed and monitored regularly for redressal.
- Public Relations: The publicity activity of BIS is aimed at creating awareness for various BIS activities among its target audience including the Industry and common Consumer, significantly relating to Standardization, Certification of goods & services and Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery.